University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Design Centre Seminars  > How can we be more creative when solving problems? The positive effect of reflecting on your own vulnerability to fixation

How can we be more creative when solving problems? The positive effect of reflecting on your own vulnerability to fixation

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Nathan Crilly.

To obtain the seminar password, email the speaker at least 2 hours prior to the seminar (nc266@cam.ac.uk). To join the seminar, click here: https://zoom.us/j/157120016

In this talk I will report on work conducted with Dr Mariana Neroni.

Design fixation occurs when designers’ prior experiences limit their imagination, leading to a restricted interpretation of the design problem or the repetition of prior solutions. Creative design behaviour can be inhibited by fixation and so reducing the risk of fixation is a focus of much design creativity research. Research in other fields indicates that an effective way of encouraging people to guard against a risk is to demonstrate that they, as individuals, are vulnerable to those risks. To study the effect of demonstrating individual vulnerability to fixation, we conducted an online experimental study using number and word tasks that are known to induce fixation. The first task was used to provide a ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ treatment (revealing the participants’ own fixated behaviour to them) and to provide the explanation for a comparable ‘asserted vulnerability’ treatment (warning participants about general fixation effects). In the subsequent creative task, the ‘demonstrated vulnerability’ group outperformed those in the ‘asserted vulnerability’ group and also those in a control group.

I will review the design of the study and the main results. The study was inspired by findings from qualitative design research and by methods from experimental advertising research. This kind of multi-methodological and interdisciplinary approach is rare within the field, so I will discuss the context for this and the challenges and benefits of what was done.

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The seminar will be hosted on Zoom:

To obtain the seminar password, email the speaker at least 2 hours prior to the seminar (nc266@cam.ac.uk).

https://zoom.us/j/157120016

Meeting ID: 157 120 016

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Meeting ID: 157 120 016

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This talk is part of the Engineering Design Centre Seminars series.

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